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Trivia / XTC

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  • Andy Partridge is the father of "Happy" Harry Partridge, the animator best known for Newgrounds parodies such as Saturday Morning Watchmen.
  • Bad Export for You: English Settlement was pared down to a single album for its first release outside of the U.K. The first CD issues of the album also removed the songs "Leisure" and "Down in the Cockpit" for no real reason; even if those songs are kept, the entire album is still just 2 minutes shy of hitting a standard CD's limit of 74 minutes. Later prints restored those tracks.
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  • Breakthrough Hit: "Making Plans for Nigel" in the U.K., "Dear God" in the U.S.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Initially Partridge resented Skylarking, due to Todd Rundgren's Jerkass working style and Troubled Production. In a rare example of Vindicated by History with a creator, Andy later said the album was "a summer's day baked into a cake."
    • Partridge considers "Sgt. Rock" from Black Sea to be the worst song he's ever written, due to its blatant sexist undertones, and was outraged when Virgin insisted it to be on the record, as well as putting it out as a single. He also said he wishes he never wrote "Another Satellite", but not because of quality, but because it offended his partner and damaged their relationship for a while.
  • Creator Breakdown:
    • Partridge's severe stage fright, which caused him to collapse on stage, forcing the band off the road.
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    • Despite struggling not to do it, Partridge wrote "Your Dictionary" from Apple Venus about his divorce from his wife Marianne.
  • Executive Meddling: XTC have a history of this. They...
    • ...recorded a song hinting about their former manager having screwed them over ("I Bought Myself a Liarbird"), but a lawsuit which stretched all the way until the release of Nonsuch forced them to not discuss the matter in public further as part of the settlement.
    • ...had the American release of Mummer delayed by nearly a year after their American label Epic Records rejected the album (it finally got issued by Geffen Records).
    • ...had Virgin reject Andy's initial "pubic hair + flowers" cover for Skylarking (but somehow managing to okay a picture of a naked man and woman playing flutes). The original artwork was eventually used for the 2011 vinyl and 2014 CD remasters.
    • ...had Geffen alter the US tracklisting of Skylarking to replace "Mermaid Smiled" with "Dear God". This being one of those examples of Executive Meddling having a good outcome: "Dear God" became a smash hit on American rock radio (despite or because of objections from Moral Guardians) and after the re-issue with the changed tracklist, Skylarking was estimated to have sold an extra 250,000 copies in the US. "Mermaid Smiled" was not added back to the track list of the American version of the album until 2001.
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    • ...had Virgin arbitrarily cancel the release of the "Wrapped in Grey" single and destroy all the advance copies because they felt it had no chart potential, causing the band to go on strike.
    • ...had Virgin prolong their "strike" by continuously stalling on renegotiating or cancelling their contract until a change of management at the label.
    • And finally...discovered during said strike that Virgin had withheld substantial royalty payments, and successfully sued to regain them.
  • He Also Did: Andy has popped up in a few unexpected places:
    • He provided vocals for the track "Margaret Freeman" on The Residents' The Commercial Album, under the alias Sandy Sandwich.
    • He played guitar on Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me with Science".
    • He sang and wrote the lyrics for "Papersnow" on The Heads' No Talking, Just Head.
    • He wrote and performed the opening theme for Wonderfalls, aptly titled "I Wonder Why the Wonder Falls".
    • Dave Gregory has lent his guitar playing to records by Peter Gabriel and Porcupine Tree.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: While most consider Skylarking to be their best album, Partridge views Apple Venus as their best.
  • Name's the Same: David Gregory is not the NBC News anchor.
  • Old Shame: Partridge feels this way about the band's first two albums, describing the songwriting as "semen-stained." He also considers "Sgt. Rock" to be the worst song he ever wrote.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Mr. Mister and future King Crimson drummer Pat Mastoletto was a fan of the band before being tapped to play drums on Oranges and Lemons.
  • Protection from Editors: Oranges and Lemons was Paul Fox's first major production job. He let the band do pretty much whatever they wanted.
  • The Pete Best: Averted by keyboardist Barry Andrews, who left after the second album. He went on to form the Post-Punk band Shriekback, who were decently successful throughout the 80's.
  • Wag the Director: According to Todd Rundgren, Andy Partridge would override the producer in the studio as a sort of "executive producer". Rundgren claims that Partridge's bitterness over Skylarking was because Rundgren remained in creative control.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Colin Moulding was seriously considered as a replacement for Roger Waters after he left Pink Floyd.
    • Dave Gregory nearly left XTC to join Blondie during the band's heyday.
    • The band considered having John Paul Jones produce Nonsuch, but his fee was too expensive, so they went with Gus Dudgeon instead.
    • Andy Partridge and Barry Andrews' improv record, Monstrance, was originally devised by Andy as a concept album based around if the Soviets invented Rock & Roll.
    • Around 1993, Andy Partridge conceived the idea of a compilation of fake bands from an imaginary label called Zither, playing homage to 60's bubblegum pop in the same way that the Dukes of Stratosphear did for 60's psychedelia. This fell through because the Virgin executives didn't understand the concept, but "Standing in for Joe" (which he had written for the project) was later recorded for Wasp Star, "Cherry In Your Tree" (another song originally intended for the project) appeared on a Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? tie-in compilation, and the fake band name "Knights in Shining Karma" was later used as the title of a song on Apple Venus Volume 1.
    • None other than Brian Eno considered joining XTC in 1980.
    • After recording Oranges & Lemons, their new manager Tarquin Gotch made a last-ditch effort to get them to un-retire from touring - Andy Partridge suggested the rest of the band tour without him, comparing it to how The Beach Boys toured without Brian Wilson. Gotch then suggested they get Thomas Dolby as a live frontman, which Andy felt was a ruse to get him to perform by wounding his ego.


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